Stuck at Home? 3 Ways to Stay Sharp for the NCLEX®

Stuck at Home? 3 Ways to Stay Sharp for the NCLEX®
Even though you’re stuck at home, you can still stay sharp for your NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam by following our three suggestions.
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Stuck at Home? 3 Ways to Stay Sharp for the NCLEX®
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These are unique times for nursing students preparing to take the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exams. With exams postponed, testing centers reduced, and the exam itself being altered due to the COVID-19 virus, students preparing for the NCLEX-RN or the NCLEX-PN exams are scrambling to stay test-ready.

Just because things seem in flux right now does not mean that you can’t be successful on test day. Albert Einstein famously said, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Your NCLEX experience may be different than what you thought it would be, but you can make the necessary changes in your study plan to be positioned for success.

Even though you’re stuck at home, you can still stay sharp for your NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam. Here are three suggestions:

1. Stay informed about the NCLEX

With changes to NCLEX test dates and the NCLEX exam itself, it is important that you first educate yourself on adjustments from the NCSBN and Pearson Vue testing sites. 

For example, did you know that effective March 25 through July 4, 2020, the NCLEX exams have been slightly altered? For example: Previously, the minimum number of items on the NCLEX-RN was 75 and the maximum number of items was 265. On the NCLEX-PN, the previous number of items was 85 and the maximum number of items was 205. 

In order to safely increase the number of candidates that can test daily, the NCSBN has reduced the minimum number of test items on both exams to 60 and the maximum number of test items to 130. 

This isn’t the only change to the exams. Click here to find out what other adjustments the NCSBN has announced regarding your upcoming exam.

2. Study with others 

You may be social distancing at home, but this doesn’t mean you have to study alone. With digital tools for video calls, you can enlist the aid of other students and form an online study group. 

There are several benefits of studying with others:

  • Friends keep you accountable to hit learning benchmarks
  • The input of others sharpens problem-solving skills
  • It builds experience in working with teams or groups
  • Others challenge and inspire you to perform at your best

Don’t try to weather these challenging times alone. In order to stay academically sharp, connect with other students who are also preparing for the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam, and put together a group study plan.

3. Use online learning tools to practice, practice, practice

Maybe your test was canceled or delayed, and maybe you had to finish up classes online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be supremely ready on test day. In fact, these adjustments can actually be a good thing for ambitious test-takers like yourself.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.”

-Harry S. Truman

Be an optimist! Rather than look at the downside, look at the bright side. This extra time gives you more time to study and prepare. Utilize high-quality online learning tools to practice for your upcoming NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exam. With each new question and clinical scenario you study, you’ll be that much more prepared when you sit for your exam.


Even if you’re stuck at home, preparation is key. Check out UWorld and see why we are the industry standard for NCLEX test prep. With questions that mimic the exam and detailed rationales for correct and incorrect answers, UWorld will have you well prepared to succeed on test day and join the next generation called to the practice of nursing.

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